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Cigarette preference leads police to alleged robber

Convenience store robberies are common crimes, and police occasionally have difficulty identifying the suspected thief. In a recent robbery in Scranton, however, the suspect's strong preference for a particular brand of cigarettes was the identifying trait that led police to his doorstep.

The robbery occurred at the EFuelgas station on Pittston Avenue. The thief, who was wearing a ski mask to hide his face, threatened the counter attendant with a knife and demanded that he turn over six packs of Marlboro Reds and $450 in cash. The robber left the store with the cigarettes and cash.

Police did not immediately release the brand of cigarettes that had been stolen. A woman who was being questioned in connection with an unrelated police investigation told the investigating officer that a man had told her that he stole six packs of Marlboro Reds from the gas station. At that point, the brand of cigarettes was not public knowledge. Police therefore concluded that the man who provided this informal confession could be the suspect, and he was promptly arrested. The suspect has been charged with robbery, theft, receiving stolen property and simple assault. He was imprisoned and required to post a bond of $150,000.

The defendant in this case faces serious charges, but he, like all criminal defendants, is entitled to be presumed innocent unless and until he has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Anyone facing similar charged may wish to consult a criminal defense attorney for an evaluation of the evidence and law that will decide the case and for an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.

Source: Scranton Times-Tribune, "Police: Cigarette brand tip leads to capture of Scranton robber," Joseph Kohut, Feb. 24, 2017

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